Electronic Referral

The SCA program is supporting Think Research Consortium (TRC) – an Ontario-based consortium of Think Research, CognisantMD, and the Centre of Effective Practice (CEP) – to design and implement the Ocean eReferral Network, an electronic referral system that will coordinate access to health services in the Waterloo Wellington region, improving linkages and communications between patients, referrers, specialists and service providers.

One of the goals of the SCA program is to leverage innovative technology solutions to create referral solutions across the province. In Waterloo Wellington, this particular solution is based on CognisantMD’s successful Ocean platform, which will bring pre-existing referral processes and systems into a connected environment where information can flow and be distributed across the continuum of care.

The first phase of the project focused on a Proof of Concept (POC) that has integrated three specific pathways into the Ocean eReferral Network: Diabetes Central Intake, Orthopedic Specialists, and Chronic Disease Prevention and Management (CDPM). A number of early adopters from these streams participated in this POC and their feedback has been informing the design of the Ocean eReferral Network. Over 240 enhancements were made to the tool based on their valuable input!

This past summer, the decision was made to extend and expand the Ocean eReferral Network across the WWLHIN. The system is now LIVE and ready for use. If you are interested in using Ocean to send or receive referrals, please click here for contact information.

The SCA program will also be working with other partnering LHINs to develop and enhance their own referral solutions. For more information on this expansion, click here to read an announcement from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC).

We are also supporting the development of a patient portal, which will enable patients to find up-to -date information about available services, complete with descriptions, map-based locations, and wait-times. Patients will also have the ability to book themselves directly into self-management programs and view current referrals along with status updates and special instructions about appointments. 11 patients/caregivers have participated in the design process of this solution, taking part in discovery sessions that have focused on their current frustrations with referral processes and how their experience could be improved. The consortium has been using their input to guide the plans for the patient portal.

Are you already using the Ocean eReferral Network and looking for technical support? Please click here!

Here’s a little more information on the consortium’s individual partners:

For nearly a decade, Think Research has worked closely with healthcare organizations to develop and implement clinical decision support tools. Our entire suite of clinical applications is easily accessible at the point-of-care through our secure, cloud-based platform, EntryPoint. All of our solutions are designed to standardize clinical practice, by rooting decision making in evidence-based best practice, to improve the quality and cost of care.
Main contribution to Ocean eReferral Network: A user-friendly resident portal, where patients and caregivers can track referral status and book their own referrals to self-management programs as well as the development of an “Open” architecture that will allow other health service providers and vendors to design, develop and implement solutions to support resident and provider needs that will easily integrate with the Ocean eReferral Network.

CognisantMD is the nation’s leading provider of electronic medical record (EMR) integrated patient engagement solutions. Using mobile devices and a cloud-based architecture, the Ocean Platform allows patients and healthcare providers to securely share health information for clinical use, administration, referrals and research.
Main contribution to Ocean eReferral Network: Their existing Ocean eReferral Platform has been leveraged, enhanced and expanded to Orthopedic Specialists, Diabetes Management, and Chronic Disease Prevention and Management in the POC phase. Other streams are now being introduced, including Diagnostic Imaging, Specialized Geriatric Services, and Mental Health and Addictions. We continue to onboard referrers.
CEP is an independent, not-for-profit organization that aims to close the gap between evidence and practice for healthcare providers by giving them the resources and tools they need to provide the best care to their patients. CEP engages with providers to create solutions based on best-evidence that can be adapted into the local context.
Main contribution to Ocean eReferral Network: Using their expertise in Change Management and Adoption to launch the new platform in organizations around the region and potentially beyond.

For more information, contact:

Lori Moran, Program Manager, SCA
Phone: 519-885-0606 ext. 1020